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 3. Advanced French Breads
 loaf was heavy...
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Windy Meadows Farm
21 Posts
Mary
MOUNT VERNON Ohio
USA

Posted - Aug 10 2020 :  8:30:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I made the French Bread tonight and it seemed really heavy...should I not knead in my stand mixer, or should I knead longer, proof longer? Any suggestions?

Maybe it's supposed to be heavier because it's sourdough?

No complaints, there's nothing like warm bread topped with butter, I
just wanted to be sure I was making it correctly, thanks!

Mary - Windy Meadows Farm

Ashley
561 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Aug 12 2020 :  09:23:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't think mixing in your stand mixer should be a problem. A longer proof could be the solution, or my other thought is maybe there was a little too much flour? Did the bread seem dry?

Ashley Ogle
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Windy Meadows Farm
21 Posts
Mary
MOUNT VERNON Ohio
USA

Posted - Aug 13 2020 :  05:30:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, no it didnt' seem dry...actually it seemed a bit underdone inside...maybe another 5 - 10 minutes would have helped, which I guess would have made it lighter.

I'm always tempted to add more flour, so I probably did add another 1/2 cup...even though I know you tell us not to be tempted! I'll definitely try again...being a good bread maker is a goal.

I remember my grandmother's bread...I wish id' been older so I could have learned from her...I'm sure there's a "feel" to it all that comes from experience and learning from a good baker.

Mary - Windy Meadows Farm
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Ashley
561 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Aug 13 2020 :  10:57:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It doesn't sound like too much flour was an issue with this loaf. It's tough to gauge whether a bread is fully cooked on the inside. For years, I went by the guidance that if you tap the top of the loaf and it sounds hollow, it's done. However this can be misleading, especially when it comes to wild bread, which is why we lean on internal temps in the recipes.

There is definitely a balance to bread making. I remember when I first started baking bread, being told "the more you knead the dough, the softer the bread". I've made a lot of bread between then and now, and I've learned that this isn't exactly true. While bread dough needs to be kneaded, you can definitely reach a point that it's overworked and the gluten strands are too strong (you can see this when trying to shape dough that wants to contract). When kneading bread, I stop kneading when I can see small elastic strands and have a smooth dough.

For the recipes in Wild Bread, the moisture content is slightly higher than traditional yeasted breads. The higher moisture content helps keep dough from drying out during the longer proofing times and provides better loft. My general way of gauging if the right amount of flour has been added is if I touch it with a bare finger, it would stick, but if I lightly coated my hands with flour, oil, or even water, I could handle the dough without it sticking.


Ashley Ogle
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Windy Meadows Farm
21 Posts
Mary
MOUNT VERNON Ohio
USA

Posted - Aug 14 2020 :  2:14:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your how-to's. I admit I do use the stand mixer to knead...maybe I should shorten the time, or try kneading by hand...maybe overworking the dough is the problem.

I will try again! And even though it was heavy, it made terrific mozzarella bruschetta!

Mary - Windy Meadows Farm
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Ashley
561 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Aug 17 2020 :  09:59:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use my stand mixer to make bread regularly, so you'll get no judgement from me there. It does mix/knead dough faster than if you were to knead by hand, so shortening the time might help.

Fresh mozzarella bruschetta sounds wonderful! I'm anxiously awaiting my garden tomatoes ripening. They're still pretty green, but these hot days will change that soon.

Ashley Ogle
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Windy Meadows Farm
21 Posts
Mary
MOUNT VERNON Ohio
USA

Posted - Aug 22 2020 :  05:29:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did a little research...it seem that 2 minutes on speed 2 of a stand mixer, equals 8-10 minutes of kneading by hand. I'd say I overworked the dough. Lesson learned!

And no tomatoes here in Ohio as well...lots of green, but no fruit or veggies in the garden. We lost our bees over the winter, so I'm a believer...we need them to pollinate!

Mary - Windy Meadows Farm
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MaryJane
161 Posts
MaryJane
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Aug 22 2020 :  07:15:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've also learned what a difference pollinators make in not only the amount of fruit and vegetables you get but even the size. But honey bees are fragile and even though I do everything I can to ensure they get through the winter okay (insulation, etc.), I have losses also. Although this summer, I've already harvested 12 gallons of honey from my hives! (I have flow hives.)

So, this summer, I've gone flat-out creating homes for mason bees, leaf cutter bees, etc. Slowly, I'm learning the different species. This year, my peach and nectarine trees were attended to so mightily by my pollinators, I keep having to pick fruit off the trees lest the weight of it all bust a branch, or worse the tree itself. Good problem to have!

I sure do hope you start getting some amazing bread soon.

MaryJane Butters, author of Wild Bread ~ for we were all one family then ~
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